Yanga dental clinic is a healthcare infrastructure-as-a-service company in Nigeria that provides dental healthcare facilities for dental professionals and their patients. In this article, we have a sit down with the co-founders about their journey in building this innovative brand.
Can we meet you?
Ehis: Sure! My name is Ehis Okojie. I’m a dentist and have a background in Finance and Economics.
Ebuka: My name is Chukwuebuka Anyaeji. I’m also a dentist with a background in marketing and supply of dental instruments and materials. Ehis and I went to the College of Medicine, University of Lagos together.
That’s really interesting! So what inspired you guys to start Yanga Dental?
Ehis: We noticed that dental healthcare was not very accessible to those in the middle class and below. This was ultimately due to the cost of these services. At a closer look, we also realized that it is extremely expensive for dentists to set up their own clinics. So we decided to create a space where dentists could come and use our clinic to serve their own patients. This would increase access to dental healthcare for patients while giving the doctors an opportunity to serve more people with the care they need.
Ebuka: Yeah, it’s essentially like a co-working space for dentists. We have a time-sharing model where dentists can see their patients within the time booked. We’ve had over 50 dentists come in to use our space so far while there’s an avenue for more growth. Ultimately, think of Yanga Dental as an Infrastructure-as-a-service.
Awesome! How did you come up with the name “Yanga Dental?”
Ehis: We wanted a name that would appeal to the locals and Non-consumers (below mid-class). “Yanga” means the same thing as “Shakara,” which is a Nigerian slang that means to show off or be confident
Loveet! So how do you vet the dentists that use your space?
Ehis: We require certification from their universities, as well as their license which is renewed annually. Plus, in the relatively close-knit dental community, we also know a lot of these dentists personally.
Ah, that makes sense. And how are appointments set up?
Ebuka: Appointments are booked via our website and each patient is allotted a specific time. The dentists book these times based on their availability and they don’t come in every day. We have three surgeries that can hold up to 24 patients a day. We are working on expanding that to about seven surgeries.
Describe a typical day at Yanga Dental.
Ehis: Our working hours usually start at 9 am, but these days they’ve been starting earlier. The dentists come in when they have patients to see, so it’s not like a regular 9-5 workday. If we are lucky, we have breakfast at 9 am, other days, by 1 pm. Some other days could be slow. Like July, during the rainy season, it typically gets slower. We’ve been busy lately, so the waiting time for patients has actually increased.
Do you attend to patients as well?
Ebuka: We like to think of ourselves as more administrative but every now and then, we have to see patients to reduce the waiting time.
Interesting! So what does the admin job entail?
Ehis: Vaguely, it is a LOT of spreadsheets. We start the day looking at spreadsheets and end the day looking at spreadsheets even on days we attend to patients. It’s tough work but it’s exciting.
I see… I guess it’s more exciting for you than the patients then?
Ebuka: Lol, Don’t quote me but I’d say it depends on the patient’s need.
What’s the biggest misconception about being a dentist?
Ehis: The biggest misconception is that dentists only work on teeth, but we actually care for the oral cavity, which includes the mouth and teeth. Your mouth gives a general sense of what’s going on in the body especially seeing as whatever you ingest goes through the mouth.
Ah, colour me guilty then. What’s the most common dental myth?
Ebuka: People think that if they’re not experiencing toothache, they don’t need to see a dentist. But it’s important to have scaling and polishing done at least twice a year. Even brushing twice a day can only reduce the rate of formation of plaque and calculus but you need a dentist to take them out entirely. If left untreated, it can lead to the destruction of the fibres holding your teeth, which can eventually cause them to fall out.
Oh wow! So How often should one see a dentist?
Ehis: Ideally, every 6 months. This is because some issues can be painless at first but can quickly get worse if left untreated.
At this point, I’m taking personal notes. What is your favourite thing about Yanga Dental?
Ebuka: That will be the team. We have a great team and we genuinely enjoy what we do. It’s also satisfying to make a difference in people’s lives by providing affordable dental care but doing it with a great team makes it worthwhile.
That’s really great to hear. Is Yanga Dental a registered business?
Ehis: Of course. We first incorporated in Nigeria. And we always knew we wanted to register in the U.S. to position ourselves for funding opportunities, but the fees and research time were overwhelming until we found out about Norebase. They made the process seamless, and their support team was really helpful.
Sweet! Do you have any questions for Norebase?
Ebuka: Does Norebase help with a trademark registration?
Sure!, Norebase help register trademarks in any of the 54 African countries and Delaware too.
Ebuka: That sounds perfect! We’d like to get on board with that soon.
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